Feb 6, 2011

Tel Aviv, the Bauhaus Period

Urban planner Patrick Geddes had a unique opportunity in 1925, design a city which would actually be built. After the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which supported the concept of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, the pace of Zionist immigration picked up. In the early 1930's, threats from the Nazi Party accelerated immigration to the British controlled Palestine. The British Mandate extended from the defeat of the Ottomans in 1917, to the Israeli Independence in 1948.
Among those fleeing Germany were students of Bauhaus movement in architecture, the unity of form and function, expressed in ways that were modern, simple and sparse. The reinforced low-rise concrete buildings curved around traffic circles and corners.

Between 1930 and 1939 both the migration and construction continued at a steady pace. The population had reached 200,000.
There was a unity in the planning and architecture seen no where else. Like any modern growing city, the the buildings have changed. Smaller, older buildings have been replaced with modern skyscrapers. Tel Aviv still remains the largest collection of Bauhaus buildings in the world.
Bauhaus architecture was concerned with the social aspects of design and with the creation of a new form of social housing for workers. This may be just another one of the reasons it was embraced in the newly evolving city of Tel Aviv, at a time when socialist ideas were so prevalent. This style of architecture came about (in part) because of new engineering developments that allowed the walls to be built around steel or iron frames. This meant that walls no longer had to support the structure, but only enveloped it – from the outside. Called The White City, because of the white painted buildings, it is now a World Heritage Site.

Background and Coverage of the Tel Aviv Soccer Derby


gary ledebur said...

Engaging posting. I have never been to Israel but hope to go there soon. I never thought about Tel Aviv as an architecture mecca (interesting term here). By the way Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus School left Germany to teach at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The Harvard School was enormously influential in America in the late 1920s and early 1930s, producing such students as Philip Johnson who designed the Baker Arts Center at Muhlenberg College! When I first moved to Allentown in the early 1970s I hated that building. It grew on me and now I can appreciate its beauty and importance to architecture and art.

ironpigpen said...

The charter pilot fell asleep behind the controls at some point last night.

Apparently, we were somewhere over the Asian Steppe when one of the tour group looked out the window and started questioning authority.

Our Eagles has landed, however, and our motley crew is now making its way through the second-most populated city in Israel to the Bloomfield Stadium in the Jaffa district.

Some of these buildings here in Tel Aviv look like ocean liners that got washed up on the beach or something.

We plan to sit with FC Maccabi Tel Aviv supporters in the stands at the Big Derby today but not because they are the underdogs (with whom Americans often like to identify) against traditional arch-rvial FC Hapoel Tel Aviv...

...fact is, FC Maccabi Tel Aviv have the same colors as William Allen HS.

Anonymous said...

Where would America be without rich guys like Dexter Baker to give tons of money away.

I know who that dude is. I got to meet him when I was little. What an all around great guy...

According to my mom, my dad gave up entirely too many home runs in college at M.I.T. to ever have genuine apirations about earning a sustained living as a Major League pitcher.

Fortunately, Mr. Baker took pity on my dad and let him sit behind a desk at Air Products until it was time to retire and play golf on a full-time basis.

I cannot understand for the life of me why so many people hate America.

ironpigpen said...

Less than an hour to go before the Big Tel Aviv Derby now --- a final check on the odds as issued by the London bookmakers :

2.22 --- FC Hapoel Tel Aviv
2.89 --- FC Maccabi Tel Aviv
3.12 --- draw (tie)

There are no "point spreads" in real football, it should be noted on Super Bowl Sunday.

Simply pick a result and wager an amount with your favorite off-shore betting house (the odds are listed in English pounds, of course).

Good luck!

ironpigpen said...

The final whistle has sounded at the Bloomfield Stadium...

1 - FC Maccabi Tel Aviv
1 - FC Hapoel Tel Aviv

This will feel like a loss for defending champion FC Hapoel Tel Aviv, who needed to win to maintain first place, and actually scored the first goal of the game.

FC Maccabi Tel Aviv are happy to not only strengthen their hold on third place (which will get them into lucrative European competition next year) but, more importantly, knock their fierce arch-rival out of first place, as well.

The here-to-fore underachieving Bulgaria international striker DIMITAR RANGELOV, who is out on loan from runaway German league leader Borussia Dortmund, scored the tying goal for FC Maccabi Tel Aviv in the second half.

Those who took the draw may now retrieve their spoils.